Justifying the Budget
Altura Credit Union (Riverside, CA) developed a successful approach to measuring the return of its marketing campaigns. As a credit union with $741 million in assets, a pure marketing budget of $2 million is quite substantial. To put it into perspective, for credit unions over $1 billion in assets, educational and promotional expenses (the proxy used most commonly for marketing budget) average only $1.9 million.
So how is this budget justified? The Altura marketing team places extreme importance on tracking the results of its campaigns and reporting the data to the executive team. As a result, the marketing budget is increased annually.
Altura’s campaigns include lending, core deposits, and investments promotions, as well as direct mail, radio, billboards, community events and brochures. The campaigns are tracked by cost, forecasted response, actual response, and the increased return that is brought to the credit union. One of the more recent successes was the result of an e-mail marketing campaign.
Because of an increase in the cost of sending paper statements, Altura decided to run a promotion for their e-statements. Every member who signed up for e-statements was entered in to a drawing to win an iPod. The cost of the promotion totaled no more than $1,000, easily accounting for the iPod and all relevant design work for the promotion.
During a normal month, Altura averaged 218 members signing up for e-statements. The marketing team predicted that the promotion would create 1,000 e-statement change-overs. However, 2,300 people signed up for the program, 130 percent more than the forecast. As a result, the marketing team determined that the credit union will save over $25,000 annually.
Tracking every campaign gives Altura the ability to make sure that every dollar spent is creating positive results for the credit union.